Metlink drivers and cyclists share wheels for a day
A Greater Wellington Regional Council Road User Workshop, that encourages cyclists and bus drivers to share their perspectives with the aim of improving road safety, began with smiles and laughter.
To open a day of activities and discussion, Metlink bus drivers and cyclists shared their fondest bike memories from across the globe and some from many decades ago.
Since recording began in 2000, the volume of cyclists on our region’s roads has increased by 162% - making it apparent our region is keen to get about in greener ways. However, this impressive increase in bike users presents a need for further discussions about sharing the road.
Greater Wellington travel choice coordinator, Susan Hutchinson-Daniel says, “Empathy with other road users is the focus of these workshops, regardless of whether you’re riding two wheels or driving a bus.
“It’s an opportunity for participants to switch places so cyclists can learn to identify buses’ blind spots and their massive tail swing, and for drivers to experience the everyday challenges of being on a bike while also having a bit of fun.”
To date, nearly 300 drivers have taken part in Road User Workshops that bring the participants fresh learnings and perspectives.
Metlink bus driver, Max Makianu says, “Now I know how intimidating it can be to cycle next to large vehicles on Wellington roads. There are lots of things drivers and cyclists can do to help each other out.”
The workshops have also helped to bring in a range of cyclist voices to share their unique perspectives and experiences.
Avid international cyclist, Lauren Greenfield says, “Sitting in the driver’s seat of the bus was enlightening as I was able to see where people on bikes are visible and where they might be in a blind spot."
The Road User Workshop is just one initiative from Greater Wellington’s Travel Choice and Pedal Ready teams who support sustainable, safe and healthy transport.
Greater Wellington Transport Chair Roger Blakeley says, “With nearly 1500 school age students and adults on the road in the last 12 months through our Pedal Ready programme alone, all drivers can expect to see more people on bikes around our region.
Our bus operators fully support the Road User Workshop programme. Together, we’ll keep working on what we can improve, so we can all share the road safely.”
For more information on how to safely share our winding Wellington roads, check out the Pedal Ready website.